TRIPAWDS: Home to 23057 Members and 2156 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is your home to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.

JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Tripawds Community

Learn how to help three legged dogs and cats in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free and get full member benefits:

Instant post approval.

Private messages to members.

Subscribe to favorite topics.

Live Chat and much more!

Please consider registering
Guest
Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Nicholas, 8 year old Newfoundland goes in for surgery tonight (Newf, Newfie)
sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Member Since:
15 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
61
6 July 2023 - 11:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yes, thanks for posting.  You and Nicholas are a few weeks (maybe more) ahead of Ophelia and i, so it’s good to read your posts as kind of a preview of what to expect.  In fact, i just made an appointment with the rehab/pain management specialist at the vet hospital where we are doing her treatment.  So it was good to read about your experience. 

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
62
9 July 2023 - 6:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Ophelia is such a beautiful strong girl, loved those videos!! You'll be amused that my therapist does not say tripods "hop". She says they "canter", Much more dignified, and they do make that 3 beat sound but the pattern is not the same. I'm afraid they actually hop but I will say canter because I think Nicholas would prefer being compared to a horse rather than to a rabbit.

Thursday July 6 Day 21 Three weeks since his amputation. We pretty much rested up from yesterday. 

Friday July 7  Days 22.  Full of inspiration from the therapy visit, I gave him two massages, counted his up and down times, 22+ times not  7 times, as I had told the therapist on Wednesday. Took two walks, including one in the tall grass orchard and only let him in his tile bathroom for a 2 hour nap. He was exhausted!

The scheduler from OSU called and we set an appointment for Monday 17 for his first chemo, but then I thought better of it because it was the day before his therapy, emailed the therapist and emailed the scheduling service saying I wanted to switch to Thursday. Unlike almost any other business, OSU does not send confirmations of appointments until too late, sometimes after the appointment, so I hope I am not charged for Monday.

Saturday July 8 Day 23 post op  I was feeling so successful after the therapy visit, that i think I overdid the  "new normal" business. I caught up on some complicated volunteer computer work , which took my mind off my boy, and forgot some of his pills. He was giving me his "Is this all there is?" look, which he does very well, so we all had a nice dinner together. Besides tomorrow is a big day.

Sunday July 9 Day 24 post op. First dog friend!! An old friend of ours from the Coast who has known Nicholas since puppyhood and his dog Sally stopped by. Sally was an ideal first dog experience. She's friendly and they ran off together for about 20 minutes, then she got down to chasing chipmunks and Nicholas came back panting and had lots of hugs and conversation from his old human friend. Neither Sally nor Nicky seemed to think anything was different, she licked his drool and he flicked his head away, just like usual. She fits under his chin better. He took a long nap this afternoon.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
63
9 July 2023 - 8:30 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Love this description ;

she licked his drool and he flicked his head away, just like usual. She fits under his chin better. 

As always, thanks for the pupdate chronicling  his progress and "all things Nicholas".  Especially  enjoyed reading about his therapy visit Friday.  Sounds like it was quite productive,....the whole day was a good one👍

And no doubt Nicky would prefer the horse comparison  too.  A canter  seems more his style.

Wish we had video....hint...hint.....of Nichilas and his friend "Sally".  BTW..love her name.😉

Hugs 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

New England
Member Since:
11 January 2022
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
64
10 July 2023 - 11:46 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Having grown up with horses, my gut reaction to calling the tripawd gait a "canter" is that it's inaccurate.  So I turned to Google for a definition, which came back as "a three-beat gate of a horse or other quadruped, between that of a trot and a gallop".  That's a good description of my gut feeling for the gait.  I don't think being three-beat is the only hallmark of a canter, but also the speed.  With tripawds, I would argue that their "canter" becomes a two-beat gait.  With four legs, two legs diagonal from each other hit the ground simultaneously.  With one leg missing, if two paws strike the ground simultaneously, that leaves 2 beats. 

Actually, thinking about this more, it's going to depend on front- or rear-amputee and which lead the canter is on if it becomes a 2-beat gait for a tripawd.  A front-amputee would only have one lead and would therefore maintain a three-beat canter.  A rear-amputee could conceivable canter on either lead and therefore have a two- or three-beat canter.

Even though the lack of a limb alters our dogs' gaits, they still have multiple and distinct gaits at different speeds.

I apologize if this is coming off as pedantic or soap-boxy.  

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
65
10 July 2023 - 1:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Monday, July 10 25 days post op

Hi Michael, Agreed, I've also spent some time with horses, that's why I said the pattern is not the same. But Nicholas does  not like to be compared to a rabbit or a kangaroo! Your observation that tripods have different gaits is interesting. I'll have to watch more carefully, 

....  So you're right, the walk is the three beat gait (hind on amp side, hind on good side, front leg, now centered) and the faster gait is a two beat gait, ( hind legs together, then front leg now centered,)? Either they hop with the back first then move the front or extend the front and hop up to it. I can't catch him doing this well enough to see.

 

Monday, July 10 25 days post op   Michael's comment leads to important information for designing stairs, having the depth and rise comfortable enough so Nick's using the three beat gait and essentially walking up the stairs. I'm still, working on the best way to get him up and down the steps to the higher level of the first floor which includes the all-important kitchen and our office, and also into the swimming pool. He hates ramps and one long enough to have an easy grade does not fit in our house.. I've measured the stairs he's comfortable with and he really likes steps that are 36" wide and 20" deep with a 5-6' rise. 

For the first time today Nicky went out by himself, nosed around, and rested in our large back yard.  We''re preparing for our 4 hour trip to Seattle (Edmonds) and the Yale Vaccine at BARC on Wednesday afternoon. We'll stop and get out 3-4 times so he stays limber. 

Member Since:
15 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
66
10 July 2023 - 1:52 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Great updates!  It sounds like Nicky is doing great.  His first chemo session is this week?  I was under the impression that he was doing the Yale vaccine?  

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
67
10 July 2023 - 4:51 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

I know seeing Nicky go outside on his own, mobile and being  a dog sniffing around made you so Happy!  Celebrate that!  Good pogress!

Safe journey and update when you have time to catch your breath.

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS....I think it was "Mischief ", not Michael , breaking down the "gait".

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
68
10 July 2023 - 6:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Yes it was Mischief. anyway it got me measuring stairs again!  Thanks for the note, Sally. There are so many appointments to keep track of and I had just about had it with the BARC online chat, so I called the office itself and talked to a nice Real Person. Made me feel a lot better.

Michael, I got the dates wrong and chemo is the 20th not this week. However, that's a good question because I've seen information about the Yale vaccine which says it can't be administered  at the same time as Chemo, but the BARC information site suggests otherwise and Dr. Ferguson is very involved in the study. So I'll ask her day after tomorrow and let you know what they say. I am much more enthusiastic about therapy and Yale than chemo, but since it exists I guess we have to try it and see how it goes for Nicholas. He's feeling so well and so much more independent these days, I'd hate to set him back. In his mind and heart, he's the one who watches over us! 

And I love Ophelia's videos. What a star she is!!

Member Since:
15 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
69
10 July 2023 - 6:27 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Thank you.  Shes doing well. 

Ophelia will be treated with the Elias vaccine I do i know that it’s different. But what I’ve been told is that she can have two chemo treatments before beginning the vaccine but then can’t do them both at the same time.  Chemo tears down the immune system (as Ophelia experience last week) so it would work against what the vaccine is doing. But again, they’re different vaccines.  

i was given the choice of doing the two chemo treatments before vaccine or not.  But the oncologist said that if i wanted to throw everything at the cancer that i could, that she would recommend it.  I asked if we could fit three chemo treatments in but was told no due to the shelf life of the vaccine.  

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
70
13 July 2023 - 3:22 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Tuesday, July 11, 26 days post op. Just rested aside from our puppy training.. he's so good at Stay, I can turn my back on him and walk any number of feet but his finish is sloppy, which is the trainer's fault.

Wednesday July 12 27 days post op, Yale immunization day at BARC in Edmonds, WA near Seattle.=!

Trip up. Left at 9AM to allow several stops at Rest Stops.. this is a farm dog. He does not pee at rest stops, he does not pee walking on a sidewalk, he does not pee in elegant little dog pee gardens at BARC....he's got a great capacity though and we finally succeeded in a little woods off a shopping center!

BARC in Edmonds is a nice big clean clinic, easy to find. Of course Nicholas charmed the vet techs and impressed the doctors by his easy movement and shiny coat.  They do not consider him overweight 5/9 rather than 4/9 but how are you going to swim in frigid water without a little coating?  But the rehabilitation doctor is right, the less weight he has to move around as a tripawd the better. I want to clear up Yale vaccine costs I have seen elsewhere. Maybe other clinics associated with the Yale vaccine have different policies but here it is $197 for the vaccine and administration. They also ask for a donation, which goes through a non-profit and which is probably where those figures in the thousands come from. I'm very happy to donate and so glad I got an appointment. These opened up at BARC on May 24, right before the tumor was discovered. So now we go back once, in three weeks, and then a blood draw at my local vet. Michael, I got a confirmation that the Yale vaccine can be administered at the same time as a chemo program is going on. Personallly, I would just leave a few days between appointments to be sure dogs aren't overwhelmed. but they didn't say that. https://www.ccr.....ale-status

But here is the best part! Before the appointment we went to the lovely dog park at the Edmonds Marina that has a firm pebble/sand coating and borders the sound. Lots of happy dogs, mostly water dogs, so Nick met some friends and stood in the water, very contented. As we were leaving a new dog came and attacked another dog. Nick moved in between them and shouldered the aggressive dog to the side and kept him there, no growls, no wrestling, just a glance and a very firm lean.. Just as he always does. Apparently he still has his recreation director authority!  I was worried that if the dog actually attacked him, he'd lose his balance, but I guess it's the confidence they project rather than the actual physical ability on 3 legs. So that is one worry crossed off.

 

Thursday July 13 28 days post op, 4 weeks.

Slept late and rested all day except for our "training"  because we were going to a party, Nicky too. He was a love, greeted the guests, did not invade the music circle. We were just outside in the front yard on a residential street but he was so good and "stayed" so well, I hardly used the leash. These were not necessarily dog people and several of them said what a handsome dog but did not notice the amputation until later, too hairy. I'm kind of obsessing about damage to his good legs though. Had a dream last night of him limping on one of his back legs.

The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
71
13 July 2023 - 10:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Wow what an adventure! I feel like I went with you two! TVs k you for sharing.

Love how he handled the dog scuffle incident. He's back!!!

You are right, it's all about the confidence they project not the number of legs they have. Dogs live with heart and instinct not vision and emotional baggage like we do. We have so mich to learn from them.

Thanks for sharing the Yale vaccine costs, what an awesome clinic and a business model that's all heart. If you don't mind posting a review in our Vet Specialists Forum that would be super helpful for others.

Nicky is really doing such a great job as an ambassador! I hope that he sails through treatment!

Member Since:
4 July 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
72
14 July 2023 - 4:34 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

It sound like he’s doing very well!  I love newfies and enjoyed seeing the pictures.  It’s especially awesome that he seems to have retained his confidence and personality as illustrated by his “breaking up the fight” maneuver!  

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
73
15 July 2023 - 5:24 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Friday July 15 29 days post op   Nick's still resting up. We wonder if his good leg, the tissue around the raduis  is a little swollen. He came out with us and sat in the shade while we picked gooseberries, and then rested in the tile bath in the heat of the day. BARC said he'd be tired for a couple of days and mentioned other symptoms which he hasn't shown. Yesterday was his last day of gabapentin and I'm stopping the aman.. whatever along with it. So he is not taking medication and I am forgetting the spelling.

Saturday July 16 30 days post op  All bright and cheery this morning!  Nick wanted to do something fun so we took him up to a country hilltop cemetary near us and he got to run around and get up to date on dog messages. He hasn't been there since before the operation. Every time he reclaims some of his old activities, it's a happy day around here! It is unbearably hot for Nicky and me so we are existing on frozen watermelon cubes. I cut up a large seedless one and it's disappearing fast! Nicky's swelling seems to have gone back to normal, and it wasn't much, so I hope that was just the effect of the long walk on the sandy beach. We'll be seeing his rehabilitation doctor on Tuesday.

Member Since:
10 June 2023
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
74
16 July 2023 - 1:07 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_EditHistory sp_QuotePost

Sunday July 17 31 days post op  We took a once familiar walk along the wide sidewalk that our city has built along the Willamette River, probably about 1/4 mile. Nicky was joyous, cool in the early morning, lots of people to meet, nice dogs but not too interesting ones.  I notice that we can now get away with letting him go off leash,  no one is afraid of a giant 3 legged dog bounding toward them.... one young girl said he was "cute" which I guess is better than "horrifying", one man pointed out tactfully that my handsome dog might be limping! My husband can now keep up with his fast speed and he's very good about stopping and waiting for us anyway. I don't put him on a leash except for entering buildings etc because of a possible strain on his neck, haven't tried his old harness but the incision has healed now so I will. We're thinking of him as a children's therapy dog now, we'll see how the cancer goes.

Here is our thought process re amputation/osteosarcoma for Nicholas, and anyone else's will be different..

Euthanizing was out because he clearly enjoys life and brings his peace and happiness to everyone he meets.

Radiation and limbsparing were out because over 50% of the radius was brittle and he had a partial fracture.

An artificial limb was out because living on a farm with rough ground, three legs would be safer than a prosthesis.

Pallative pain management without surgery was out because this is a boy who lept a wall with a 6' drop and chased a bobcat, dragging a cancerous damaged leg, and was totally pleased with himself, a boy who limped one day before a large tumor appeared and let us know there was a problem. He's just too stoic for us to determine his pain level, and to me the fogginess that can result from continuous medication doesn't fit with his personality and intelligence.

So that left amputation. He was just turned 8, middle aged rather than old, very strong, not overweight, no other medical issues, extremely confident, but a dog who considers his choices, tries a solution, alters it, and tries again. That quality has helped him adjust quickly to three leggedness.

As far as dealing with cancer, to the extent that cancer can be dealt with at all, our goal is to take only those steps which don't impact his quality of life and character. We're trying the Yale vaccine  which for him means two fun family trips in the car, a visit with his extended Seattle family and a simple shot at a nice clinic. We'll try OSU chemo nearby, but unless he tolerates the sessions easily, we will stop (I'm giving the reaction two days). I'll educate myself on the signs of lung mets, which are likely, and before the cancer becomes serious and painful, we will all have to say goodbye for now. It's his experience of his own life that is important here.

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
75
16 July 2023 - 8:05 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_QuotePost

Oh Suzanne, your understanding of who Nicholas is melts my heart.  You know what gives him joy,  what it takes to give him purpose in life and allow him to fulfill  his ever expanding mission in life.Such a beautiful bond.

 

    our goal is to take only those steps which don't impact his quality of life and character. 

EXACTLY!  Numbrper one priority!!   Such an important  focus. 

Thanks for taking time to Chronicle his journey so far. I think it's especially important for newer people to understand why you made the decisions that you did .  At least in your case, it was definitely the best decision for Nicholas.

I have no doubt he will make a wonderful therapy dog for children, for adults too for that matter!

Hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Forum Timezone: America/Denver
Most Users Ever Online: 946
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 133
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 1271
Members: 17813
Moderators: 6
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 4
Forums: 24
Topics: 18629
Posts: 256995
Administrators: admin, jerry, Tripawds
Tripawds is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG